Whalers removed from SCAFL women's finals

Tathra will advance in the semi-finals after Eden's win last week has been overturned due to ineligible players.
Tathra will advance in the semi-finals after Eden's win last week has been overturned due to ineligible players.

Unfortunately for Eden, the Whalers will not be able to defend their three-year-premiership spree after being disqualified from the finals series.

The club has been dismissed from the series after two alleged breaches regarding dispensation and eligibility of 14-year-old players in their 6-2 win over Tathra.

Whalers spokeswoman Nicole Crowe said the club was alerted to needing special dispensations for the juniors to play in the women's competition two days prior to the final.

By Saturday morning, only one of those juniors had been approved, but after discussion four players were eligible to sign the team sheet and contest the game.

However, two of the six junior players were disallowed on an age ruling, which Ms Crowe said was inconsistent with the rest of the season.

"They'd been able to play all year and now they were ruled out of finals," she said.

"We felt that it was wrong and we openly played them." [the two players were included on the team sheet].

On Monday the club lodged appeals against two charges - one for the dispensations and a second for playing the two players ruled ineligible.

Ms Crowe said the club laid out an extensive case for why the dispensations should have all been approved, but was knocked back by SCAFL on both counts.

The club has until Friday to appeal at a state level the breach of playing the two ineligible players, but were unlikely to do so.

Ms Crowe said because the Whalers could not argue the first case in a state appeal it was likely to lose given they had willingly fielded the two players.

She said it was a terribly disappointing situation for the club.

Tathra will be advanced to the next round, but club president Cymmon Parker conceded it was a tough call against the Eden club.

"We have mixed feelings, obviously we are super excited about getting a second chance to try make the grand final but we have a great respect for the Eden girls and can't imagine how devastating it would be to go out like this," she said.

"We look forward to playing them again next season."

Ms Parker said the Eaglettes would hit the deck for training and get ready for this weekend when they will face the Narooma Lions in the preliminary final.

"For now we are focusing on getting our heads back in the game so we can give it our all next Saturday," she said.

Their inclusion means Tathra will feature in all three senior contests on the day after the seniors went down in their major-semi draw against the Diggers on Saturday.

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